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Interpretivism. Bruce Johnson Autumn Research Education School 21 st 23 rd April 2006. Aim of session. Interpretivism is an ‘ism’ that draws together a lose church of qualitative research approaches including phenomenology, hermeneutics and symbolic interactionism.

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interpretivism
Interpretivism

Bruce Johnson

Autumn Research Education School

21st 23rd April 2006

aim of session
Aim of session

Interpretivism is an ‘ism’ that draws together a lose church of qualitative research approaches including phenomenology, hermeneutics and symbolic interactionism.

In this session we will:

  • look at what these approaches have in common by examining 10 Interpretivist ‘themes’
  • discuss whether we have become preoccupied with methodological questions at the expense of learning qualitative methods, and
  • discuss whether an argument for greater pragmatism in qualitative research can be sustained.
what is interpretive research
What is Interpretive Research?

Interpretive research focuses on identifying, documenting, and ‘knowing’ – through interpretation – ‘the world views, values, meanings, beliefs, thoughts and general characteristics of life events, situations, ceremonies and specific phenomena under investigation,

what is interpretive research4
What is Interpretive Research?

with the goal being to document and interpret as fully as possible the totality of whatever is being studied in particular contexts from the people’s viewpoint or frame of reference’

Leininger, M. (1985) Qualitative Research Methods in Nursing. Orlando, Fla. : Grune & Stratton, p. 5.

grounding our discussions in research johnson howard participants
Grounding our discussions in research (Johnson, Howard + participants)
  • Retrospective investigation of trial of share program (2006)
grounding our discussions in research johnson howard participants6
Grounding our discussions in research (Johnson, Howard + participants)
  • Retrospective investigation of trial of share program (2006)
  • Case study of Personal Safety curriculum trial (2004)
grounding our discussions in research johnson howard participants7
Grounding our discussions in research (Johnson, Howard + participants)
  • Retrospective investigation of trial of share program (2006)
  • Case study of Personal Safety curriculum trial (2004)
  • Eight Years On – Longitudinal study of childhood and adolescent resilience (1997-2004)
grounding our discussions in research johnson howard participants8
Grounding our discussions in research (Johnson, Howard + participants)
  • Retrospective investigation of trial of share program (2006)
  • Case study of Personal Safety curriculum trial (2004)
  • Eight Years On – Longitudinal study of childhood and adolescent resilience (1997-2004)
  • Resilient Teachers study (2004)
grounding our discussions in research johnson howard participants9
Grounding our discussions in research (Johnson, Howard + participants)
  • Adolescent Resilience (CRC) (2002)
grounding our discussions in research johnson howard participants10
Grounding our discussions in research (Johnson, Howard + participants)
  • Adolescent Resilience (CRC) (2002)
  • Transition Study (NSW) (2000)
grounding our discussions in research johnson howard participants11
Grounding our discussions in research (Johnson, Howard + participants)
  • Adolescent Resilience (CRC) (2002)
  • Transition Study (NSW) (2000)
  • Teachers’ Views on Child Abuse (1995)
themes of interpretive research
Themes of interpretive research

Drawn from:

Patton, M (2002) Qualitative research and evaluation methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, pp. 40-41.

themes of interpretive research13
Themes of interpretive research

Drawn from:

Patton, M (2002) Qualitative research and evaluation methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, pp. 40-41.

(Bruce’s Research ‘Bible’)

1 naturalistic inquiry
1. Naturalistic Inquiry
  • Studying real life situations as they unfold
  • Non-manipulative, unobstrusive, and noncontrolling
  • Openness to whatever emerges – lack of predetermined constraints on outcomes.
2 emergent design flexibility
2. Emergent design flexibility
  • Openness to changing inquiry as understanding deepens or situations change; responsive
  • Researcher avoids getting locked into rigid designs
3 purposeful sampling
3. Purposeful ‘Sampling’
  • Cases for study (people, organisations, events, cultures) are selected because they are the focus of interest
  • ‘sampling’ can be emergent too
4 qualitative data
4. Qualitative Data
  • Observations that yield detailed, ‘thick’ description
  • Interviews that capture people’s personal perspectives and experiences
  • Careful and close document analysis
5 personal engagement
5. Personal Engagement
  • The researcher gets close to the people, situation, or phenomenon under study
  • Researcher’s personal experiences and insights are important in understanding the phenomenon
6 empathic neutrality
6. Empathic Neutrality
  • The researcher takes an empathic stance to seek understanding without judgment
  • Shows openness, sensitivity, respect, awareness, responsiveness
7 systems awareness
7. Systems awareness
  • Researcher alert to dynamics of systems
  • Attends to contextual complexity
8 inductive analysis
8. Inductive analysis
  • Immersion in the details and specifics of the data to identify important categories, themes, dimensions and inter-relationships
  • Begins by exploring then confirming
9 holistic perspective
9. Holistic perspective
  • The whole phenomenon under study is understood as a complex system that is more than the sum of parts
  • Focus on complex interdependencies NOT on a few discrete variables
10 credibility
10. Credibility
  • Conveys findings with authenticity and trustworthiness
  • Uses data
  • Conveys understanding of the phenomenon in all its complexity
what is interpretive research24
What is Interpretive Research

Interpretive research focuses on identifying, documenting, and ‘knowing’ – through interpretation – ‘the world views, values, meanings, beliefs, thoughts and general characteristics of life events, situations, ceremonies and specific phenomena under investigation,

what is interpretive research25
What is Interpretive Research?

with the goal being to document and interpret as fully as possible the totality of whatever is being studied in particular contexts from the people’s viewpoint or frame of reference’

Leininger, M. (1985) Qualitative Research Methods in Nursing. Orlando, Fla. : Grune & Stratton, p. 5.